This unit introduces students to the advanced grammar and vocabulary of the Syriac language.

The primary focus of this unit is grammatical analysis of selected Biblical and Patristic texts (Peshitta, Acts of Addai, Aphrahat, Ephrem).

Students will be exposed to West and East Syriac dialects, their respective alphabets, and systems of vocalization, and will be encourage to use the electronic tools and sources in their studies.

Unit code: AL9700A

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Languages

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate advanced knowledge of Syriac vocabulary and grammar


Critically articulate knowledge of the history of the Syriac literature


Apply knowledge of different Syriac alphabets and systems of vocalization


Apply advanced translation techniques to Syriac texts using lexicographical aids

Unit sequence

Prerequisite - Introduction to Syriac language


Mixed mode: Face-to-face, online Blended learning: Lectures and tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Thackston, Wheeler M. Introduction to Syriac, An Elementary Grammar with Readings from Syriac Literature, Bethesda, Maryland: IBEX Publishers, 1999.
  • Brock, Sebastian P. "The Development of Syriac Studies," in: K. J. Cathcart (ed.), The Edward Hincks Bicentenary Lectures, Dublin: University College Dublin, 1994, 94-113.
  • Coakley, J. F. Robinson's Paradigms and Exercises in Syriac Grammar, Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Hallam, Steven C. Basics of Classical Syriac: Complete Grammar, Workbook, and Lexicon, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016.
  • Jennings, William. A Lexicon to the Syriac New Testament, Peshitta, Oxford, At the Clarendon Press, 1926.
  • Muraoka, Takamitsu. Classical Syriac: A Basic Grammar with a Chrestomathy, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005.
  • Nöldeke, Theodor. Compendious Syriac Grammar: With a Table of Characters by Julius Eutling, translated from the second and improved German ed. by James A. Crichton, London, 1904.
  • Payne Smith, Robert. A Compendious Syriac Dictionary by Robert Payne Smith, Oxford: Clarendon 1903.

Electronic Tools and Sources: Digital Syriac Corpus

(PG) Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project

(PG) e-GEDSH, Georgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Exegesis 5000 60.0
Written examination under timed conditions conducted online 0 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 30 Sep, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-09-30 17:05:19 +1000